Why is it that food seems to taste that much better when dining alfresco? Maybe it’s the fresh air that whets the appetite. Whatever the reason, one of the many advantages of the Florida lifestyle is being able to enjoy a beautifully designed, fully equipped outdoor kitchen, custom built to your every specification.
Home renovations of any kind require serious planning, and an outdoor kitchen is no exception. In essence, you’re creating a whole new room, basically adjacent or connected to your house, containing all the culinary amenities. Homeowners who want to go the outdoor kitchen route usually have plenty of questions about the process, so let’s look at a few of the FAQs.
Q: Should the outdoor kitchen be the same style as our indoor kitchen?
A: The choice is entirely yours. In some cases, outdoor kitchens are considered an extension of the indoor kitchen, so the materials and designs used are somewhat similar. Top-of-the-line grills, pizza ovens and even fireplaces can be built into outdoor kitchens, and some people prefer to keep these heat-generating features strictly outdoors. But having an opportunity to play with an entirely different design theme and color palette for a second kitchen is a whole lot of fun!
Q: Will it be a hassle having to bring things in and out from the main kitchen and “share” appliances?
A: No need! Things have come a long way since Dad popped a few hot dogs on his rickety old grill atop the picnic table and Mom brought the salads outside in Tupperware. These days, the sophistication of outdoor kitchen designs, building materials and high quality appliances is staggering. If it’s done right, there shouldn’t be any need to make use of the indoor kitchen at the same time. You can have your building contractor install everything you need alfresco, including a stove, convection grill and oven, an ample fridge—even an ice maker! Your outdoor kitchen should basically be self-contained, with everything at your fingertips.
Q: Is having an outdoor kitchen a good investment, even if I don’t plan to sell my house in the near future?
A: Yes, it’s a great investment in a number of ways, and not just on the financial front. It gives you the flexibility and space to prepare meals for family and guests without heating up the main kitchen, especially during summer. Then if and when you’re ready to sell, you’ve got a real boost to property value, as a custom outdoor kitchen is a real draw for potential home buyers. Either way, you can’t lose.
Q: I’m a keen DIY-er. Is this a project I can take on by myself?
A: In theory, yes, but it would be difficult and you’d likely end up regretting it. You’ll benefit greatly from the services of an experienced building contractor who can apply for the necessary permits and coordinate various tradespeople before embarking on these tricky home renovations. Your deluxe outdoor kitchen will likely incorporate a built-in gas stove and/or grill, and then there’s the plumbing and electrical. This isn’t just a few patio pavers and a bar fridge and you’re good to go; you’ll want trained and trusted experts on every piece of the project. Building a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with professional at the helm is well worth the hassle-free peace of mind and will get the job done before you know it. Then you can spend your weekends enjoying it.
Greg Nelson is the owner of Nelson Construction & Renovations Inc. He is a Florida State Certified Building Contractor, creating artistry in all areas of design and construction projects. He is a musician, and artist. A husband and father, Greg appreciates all the wonderful elements of family life.
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